Beginning January 1, 2015 drastic changes to Indiana‘s law concerning driver’s licenses and driving license suspensions go into effect. Here are the 5 Most Important Aspects of Indiana’s New Specialized Driving Privileges Law from the Indianapolis attorneys of Black Clay LLC:
1. Probationary and Hardship Licenses No Longer Available
Beginning January 1, 2015, suspended Indiana drivers will no longer be able to seek probationary licenses
for Habitual Traffic Violator (“HTV”) suspensions or hardship licenses
for other suspensions, including those resulting from failure to provide financial responsibility (proof of automobile insurance), a DUI arrest or conviction, or from having excessive points from speeding and/or other traffic related violations. If you have a driver’s license suspension, you will need to seek specialized driving privileges.
2. No More Waiting Period for Suspended HTV Drivers to Get Back on the Road
A very important change stemming from Indiana’s new Specialized Driving Privileges Law is that individuals with HTV suspensions no longer have to wait 3 or 5 years (depending on the type of HTV suspension) to ask an Indiana Court for driving privileges. This important change has the potential to allow hundreds of Indiana drivers to drive to and from work, church, doctor’s appointments, and child visitation or parenting time in instances where the current law would not have allowed.
3. Criminal Penalties for Driving While Suspended Remain in Effect
Even after January 1, 2015, Indiana Code sections 9-30-10-16 and 17, which make it a Level 6 Felony to drive under an HTV suspension and a Level 5 Felony to drive after a person’s license has been forfeited for life, will remain in effect. As felonies, these convictions for driving after an HTV suspension has been issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”) carry significant negative consequences, including possible prison time, probation, fines and court costs. With Specialized Driving Privileges now available, any person currently under an HTV suspension should contact the experienced attorneys at Black Clay LLC to discuss their options under the new driver’s license law.
4. Specialized Driving Privileges are Available While a DUI Arrest in Pending
One of the most damaging aspects of a DUI arrest is that a person’s driving privileges are almost always immediately suspended. This is true even while the case remains pending in the trial court. Almost always, the person arrested for DUI still needs to get back and forth from work, school, the grocery store, etc. while the criminal case plays out. Under the new Specialized Driving Privileges Law, a Court is authorized to stay the suspension and issue specialized driving privileges while the case on ongoing.
5. The Court has Discretion to Issue Driving Privileges
Under the new Specialized Driving Privileges Law, the trial court judge has discretion to grant or deny driving privileges. This reflects an important change in Indiana law. Under several circumstances, which are no longer applicable, an Indiana judge had no discretion to grant probationary or hardship driving privileges if the applicant did not meet certain stricter eligibility requirements. The new law is more flexible and allows judges greater discretion to decide requests for specialized driving privileges on a case-by-case basis.
Because trial court judges do not have to grant requests for specialized driving privileges, but may if the judge believes it is appropriate to do so, applicants need legal advice and representation from an experienced driver’s license attorney. The professional, experienced attorneys
at Black Clay LLC practiced across the State of Indiana under the old law, helping individuals with probationary license
and hardship license
the Indianapolis attorneys
at Black Clay LLC today to discuss your rights under the new specialized driving privileges law.